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Rays take Moss to open sixth round of Draft

ST. PETERSBURG -- North Carolina right-hander Benton Moss has been on the Rays' radar for awhile, and on Tuesday, they selected him in the sixth round of the Draft.

Moss was selected by the Giants in the 15th round of the 2014 Draft, but he opted to return to Chapel Hill for his senior season.

"He's got a good arm, he's got good stuff and he's been a successful pitcher at North Carolina," Rays scouting director R.J. Harrison said. "We liked him last year."

Moss finished his Tar Heels baseball career ranked second in school history in career strikeouts, fifth in career innings pitched, seventh in career winning percentage and eighth in career wins. As a senior in 2015, Moss went 7-1 with a 3.44 ERA in 13 appearances, and he was named to the 2015 Capital One Academic All-America Division 1 Baseball team.

By the end of 2015 season, Moss ranked as one of just four pitchers in school history to strike out more than 300 batters.

Round 7: 2B/RHP Jake Croneworth, Michigan
Croneworth hit .338 with six home runs and 48 RBIs during his senior season. He also had a 3.59 ERA with eight saves, averaging 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings.

Croneworth stands 6-foot-1, weighs 170 pounds, and was a Second Team All-Big Ten selection.

During four games in the Big Ten Tournament, he had four saves while hitting .389 with three RBIs. For his effort, he made the Big Ten All-Tournament Team and was named the Big Ten Tournament MVP.

Harrison allowed that the Rays are slotting him as a position player.

"He'll play second base and we may even toy with the idea of giving some time at shortstop or on the left side of the infield," said Harrison.

Round 8: RHP Reece Karalus, Santa Clara
Karalus stands 6-foot-3, weighs 235 pounds and earned 2015 Second Team All-West Coast Conference honors.

Karalus made 26 appearances for the Broncos, five of which were starts, and finished with a 3-6 record and a 2.82 ERA. In 60 2/3 innings, he struck out 68 and walked just 10.

On a Santa Clara Baseball website Q&A, Karalus was asked, "What's No. 1 on your Bucket List?" To which he replied: "Leave the Earth's atmosphere."

Round 9: C Danny De La Calle, FSU
De La Calle is well put together at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds. He was selected by the Rangers out of Miami Dade College in the 33rd round of the 2013 Draft.

De La Calle bats and throws right-handed. He hit .251 with eight home runs and 35 RBIs in 207 at-bats for the Seminoles this season.

He is known for being a defensive catcher.

"He's got good defensive skills and some power," Harrison said.

Round 10: RHP Sam Triece, Washington State University
Triece has good size at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, which is personified in his 59 strikeouts in 50 2/3 innings. However, he does struggle with the strike zone, as he allowed 25 walks.

Triece went 5-0 with a 2.66 ERA in 31 appearances for the Cougars in 2015. All but three of his appearances were in relief.

The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 on beginning at noon ET.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
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